TSA fees jump more than 100% today


Today’s the day when airfares will increase, thanks to a jump in the 9/11 Security Fee from $2.50 per segment with a cap of $5 for one-way trips and $10 for round-trips, to $5.60 for a one-way regardless of the number of stops and an elimination of the cap on round-trip airfares.

Consumers banded together with the aviation industry and airlines labor unions to oppose the increase in these fees; however, Congress, in a budget deal between Senate Democrats and House Republicans, stuck to its focus on not increasing taxes and decided to increase fees on travelers.

Since about half of the increased revenues will be going into the general fund, Travelers Alliance believes that, in reality, this amounts to a tax increase rather than a flight specific security fee.

Plus, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) decided to go against the will of Congress and eliminate the round-trip cap. That means that the increase in the security fee might be as high as $22.40 for an Atlanta-Denver-Chicago-Atlanta trip that once would cost only $10 in security fees.

If the intent of Congress had been followed, the maximum for that trip would have been $11.20. However, TSA and the administration decided to ignore a letter from the budget negotiators and impose their own interpretation. Consumers and the airlines lost.

So, get ready for an increase in the cost of flying. And, get ready for more to come — airports want to increase their $4.50 airport facility charges to $8 in the near future and Customs and Border Protection is requesting an increase in the customs and immigration fees in the coming year.

For the time being, passengers find themselves paying more for something that they dislike and that has questionable spending priorities and quantifiable benefits.

  • http://tsanewsblog.com/214/news/history-repeats-itself-with-tsas-strip-search-tactics/ Lisa Simeone

    It’s only fair that the people who support this abusive system — the TSA — have to pay for it. Unless you’re forced to fly because of work or a medical/family emergency, you’re choosing to support the TSA.

  • RNE

    Poppycock! I’m traveling to England, not for work or a medical/family emergency. I can’t walk or drive there. I have to either fly or sail. Either method requires paying the TSA. So don’t tell me I’m “choosing” to support the TSA. I have no choice.

  • Daisiemae

    How can you protest an increase in funding to keep us safe? After all, we spend $8 billion per year for TSA to keep us safe. What’s a few measly dollars more?

    Anything to keep us safe. Anything.

    Why, we should increase our taxes…triple…or quadruple. Anything to keep us safe. We should happily sacrifice everything we have so that TSA can keep us safe.

    How can we place a dollar amount on keeping us safe? Sure, the Government Accountability Office has found numerous times that TSA is not doing the job. Sure, TSA fails over 70% of the time to find bombs and weapons during its own testing. Sure, it has been documented that numerous known terrorists have passed blithely through TSA’s multiple layers of security. Sure, TSA has never stopped a single terrorist.

    But my God, people! Anything to keep us safe!

    Here…I have $10 left in my wallet. I was going to pay for my blood pressure medication, but you take it. Anything to keep us safe.

  • http://tsanewsblog.com/214/news/history-repeats-itself-with-tsas-strip-search-tactics/ Lisa Simeone

    Right back at ya. I just got back from 3 weeks in Europe. I took the QM2. There was no TSA at the dock in Brooklyn. Nobody pawed me, or bullied me, or went through my belongings, or stuck me in the glassed-in gulag, or threatened to have me arrested. Since October 2010 I have refused to fly in/from this country anymore because of the abusive thugs of the TSA. And I used to travel a lot.

    If everyone who can choose not to fly would do so, we’d bring the airlines to their knees. Two months max. Then things would change. Money talks in this country; always has, always will.

    But people aren’t willing to make even the smallest sacrifice to bring about social change.

  • AKFlyer

    Or maybe you have to fly because you live in Alaska or Hawai’i? Yes, I could drive from Anchorage through Canada to the Lower 48 for work (my work duties are national) or to visit family (all live in the NE), but it would literally take weeks to get to many of my destinations. The nearest border is over 1500 road miles away, in a remote part of Idaho. From October through mid-April, the partially unpaved, single-lane road is not well maintained. What few gas stations, motels and restaurants along this very rural route are closed for the season and daylight lasts 4-5 hours. It’s not really reasonable to expect me to drive. Nor can I drive to many of my destinations in Alaska, because much of the state has no connecting roads. Like it or not, I have to fly, and I really resent these increased taxes, which disproportionately burden residents of HI and AK. US citizens are supposed to be free to live wherever they want to (and my job requires me to live here), and to travel freely across state borders. If Ted Stevens were still with us in the Senate, I believe the fees might have been reduced for Hawaiians and Alaskans, who also have many fewer non-stop flights to Lower 48 destinations to choose from.

  • http://tsanewsblog.com/214/news/history-repeats-itself-with-tsas-strip-search-tactics/ Lisa Simeone

    AKFlyer, you make a good point about Alaska. But as you say, you’re forced to fly for work.

    I’m trying to get across that if people were willing to boycott the airlines, for only a few weeks (I said months earlier, but given the situation immediately post-9/11 it would only be weeks), then things would change. Economic boycotts work.

  • AKFLyer

    Lisa, usually I agree with you and I am grateful for your activism on this issue, but please understand it would not be a “small sacrifice” for me to forego seeing my aged parents (in their late 80s, they won’t last forever) at least twice a year. And I do not have an extra month, on top of the vacation time I take for these visits, to drive RT from AK to VT for each visit!

    My form of protest is to refuse body scans. I have never been scanned by anything other than a WTMD, and I also demand to have my “pat-downs” in full view of other pax, while commenting clearly and accurately about what’s happening to various parts of my anatomy, using medically-accurate terminology. I am not embarrassed by the word “vulva” but have seen TSA employee ears turn red and heads turn as others hear me state that that’s where her hands have just been. Apparently everything is OK if we just pretend the government isn’t touching our most private parts in public — my “sacrifice” is refusing to play along with this exercise in mass denial.

  • http://tsanewsblog.com/214/news/history-repeats-itself-with-tsas-strip-search-tactics/ Lisa Simeone

    AKFlyer, understood. Thank you for resisting in whatever way you can. There are indeed many ways to resist, not just one, as I outlined here:


  • Dolt

    “$2.50 is a small price to pay for my safety” – Moronic Flyer last month

    “$5.60 is a small price to pay for my saftey” – Moronic Flyer today.

    “$20.99 is a small price to pay for my safety” – Moronic flyer in the near future

    “$50.05 is a small price to pay for my safety” – Moronic flyer in the future.

    After all, if abuse, radiation and a trampling of your rights is perfectly
    fine, why wouldn’t they be thrilled to fork over a couple hundred extra
    dollars per trip for “security”.

  • Jon Piminey

    Posted this on TSA news blog and thought I would post here as well:
    A new book is out on the Federal Air Marshals called Unsecure Skies. From the reviews it is getting, it seems to be causing some alarm at the TSA and air marshals service. I read it and enjoyed it thoroughly. Talks about air marshals picking up prostitutes overseas, managers gone rogue, and a lot about air marshal training.